Talk:Ethics of care

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Moral core?[edit]

One thing I feel is missing from this article, is any mention of the concept of the "moral core", which covers one of the two major points of this theory, in this case the idea that those we hold special relations with (those well inside the moral core) should be valued higher than those we don't (those close to the boundary, or past it). If you consider the moral core concept as a scale rather than a yes/no question, then this aspect of the theory is fully covered in the "flaws of implementation" for other ethical theories. It is our shortcoming in failing to apply our ethics without a moral core concept that allows us to make the "us vs. them" distinction that allows such phenomena as racism, certain types of genocide (e.g. holocaust) and so forth.

That said, the (plausibly androcentric) view that women build families while men build societies has not been examined in connection with the claim that traditional ethics do not properly represent the feminine nature in this regard. To my understanding, presumably because I'm a male, this theory is somewhat demeaning to women, in that it posits a claim that women either lack the insight or the capacity to build a society wherein the adherence to the conventional societal ethics exists solely for the purpose of greater collective protection. After all, with a stronger expression of the moral core problem, harming others for short term profit becomes fairly acceptable, unless it severely jeopardizes the long term safety of those within one's own moral core. Kind of like corporate mentality. Of course, when living in a society built on conventional (androcentric?) ethics, there is a mechanism in place which changes the cost/benefit analysis, and this makes it a bit harder to invalidate this theory.

Anyway. Not trying to argue the merits of the theory, just trying to illustrate what I'm requesting more information in the article about: it's place, relative to other theories, implications, etc. Zuiram 16:46, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

What's different?[edit]

It seems that supporters of ethics of care think that this is a new and different view from traditional meta-ethical ideas like consequentialism, deontology, or virtue ethics.

But how is "Ethics of care" different from "consequentialist ethics for close people"?

"An action is good if it "benefits" people who are close to me."

How is "Ethics of care" different from "deontologist ethics for close people"?

"An action is good if that is the "duty" I should do for those who are close to me"

There might already exist academic philosophers who argued that ethics of care is nothing new, or who put 'ethics of care' as a subcategory of the three major meta-ethical views, creating such terms like "consequentialist ethics of care", "deontological ethics of care", "virtue ethics of care".

If there are, it would be valuable to add their comments and works to this article.Cosfly (talk) 13:53, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Good point. There is a significant care vs justice or no difference literature, and the reason for the distinction/similarity between deontology and teleological ethics should be made clear. This needs to be done in a non-POV way though. Anarchia (talk) 23:07, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


This article is completely unclear on what Kohlberg's stages of moral development have to do with this subject, other than somehow being involved in the historical background of it. Can anyone either clarify the relationship between the two, or just delete the mention of Kohlberg if it's completely non-sequitur? --Pfhorrest (talk) 00:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Odd style[edit]

Section 3 - "Ethics of care and feminist ethics" seems a bit strangely written, and the article is rather disjointed. The topic of the article is care ethics/ethics of care, but the start of section 3 starts as if that isn't already the topic.

Care-focused feminism is a branch of feminist thought, informed primarily by ethics of care as developed by Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings.

It doesn't really describe the difference between the ethics of care and the idea of care-focused feminism. Is one derived from the other historically? Is there a non-feminist version of an ethics of care? The article seems a bit hastily put together on that front, especially when compared to the IEP article on the topic. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)


I've improved a few portions of the opening of the article. I think a few things need to be addressed specifically.

  • Broaden scope of article to take into account different formulations of care ethics
  • Remove or better summarize portions on Gilligan's work. (My understanding was that her work had at some point been empirically refuted, but remains important for the feminist work it gave rise to).
  • Clear out the heavy use of Kohlberg's theories of development.

On the last point, and given that a similar concern was brought up but never addressed nearly 3 years ago, I may simply offer a link to info on Kohlberg, as it plays no role in the ethics of care, aside from giving Gilligan motive to conduct studies. That said, Gilligan's ties to care ethics aren't as significant as the article seems to make them out to me, so I may be heavy handed in my revisions.
Huxley G (talk) 22:27, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

I've started a few of the changes I mentioned above. I may take portions of what I removed and move them into the article on In a Different Voice since its quality (and length) is also lacking.

Huxley G (talk) 23:11, 7 September 2014 (UTC)